Leading Reformed pastors and scholars reflect on the importance of John Calvin’s life and teaching for the church today.
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About the Author
DerekThomas(PhD, University of Wales, Lampeter) is theChancellor'sProfessor of Systematic andPractical Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary and senior minister at First Presbyterian Church (ARP) in Columbia, South Carolina. He is the author ofmany books,includingCalvin's Teaching on Job, and serves asa teaching fellow with Ligonier Ministries.
John W. Tweeddale(PhD, University of Edinburgh) is academic dean and professor of theology at Reformation Bible College.He is also a teaching elder in the Presbyterian Churchin America. He is the author ofJohn Owen and Hebrewsand served as an assistant editor of theReformation Study Bible.
R. C. Sproul (1939–2017) was founder of Ligonier Ministries, an international Christian discipleship organization located near Orlando, Florida. He was also founding pastor of Saint Andrew’s Chapel in Sanford, Florida, first president of Reformation Bible College, and executive editor ofTabletalk magazine. His radio program, Renewing Your Mind, is still broadcast daily on hundreds of radio stations around the world and can also be heard online. Sproul contributed dozens of articles to national evangelical publications, spoke at conferences, churches, colleges, and seminaries around the world, and wrote more than one hundred books, including The Holiness of God, Chosen by God, and Everyone’s a Theologian. He also served as general editor of the Reformation Study Bible.
Michael A. G. Haykin (ThD, University of Toronto) is professor of church history and biblical spirituality at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and director of the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies. He has authored or edited more than twenty-five books, including Rediscovering the Church Fathers: Who They Were and How They Shaped the Church.
Stephen J. Nichols (PhD, Westminster Theological Seminary) serves as the president of Reformation Bible College and chief academic officer of Ligonier Ministries. He is an editor of the Theologians on the Christian Life series and also hosts the weekly podcast 5 Minutes in Church History.
W. Robert Godfrey (PhD, Stanford University) serves as the president and professor of church history at Westminster Seminary California. Godfrey is a minister in the United Reformed Churches and the author of numerous articles and books.
K. Scott Oliphint (PhD, Westminster Theological Seminary) is professor of apologetics and systematic theology at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia and has written numerous scholarly articles and books, including God With Us. He is also the co-editor of the two-volume Christian Apologetics Past and Present: A Primary Source Reader and Revelation and Reason: New Essays in Reformed Apologetics.
J. V. Fesko (PhD, University of Aberdeen, Scotland) is the academic dean and professor of systematic and historical theology at Westminster Seminary California. He was the pastor of Geneva Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Woodstock, Georgia, for ten years. J. V. lives in Escondido, California, with his wife, Anneke, and their three children.
Guy Prentiss Waters (PhD, Duke University) is the James M. Baird Jr. Professor of New Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary, and was formerly an associate professor of biblical studies at Belhaven University in Jackson, Mississippi. Guy and his wife, Sarah, have three children.
Joel R. Beeke(PhD, Westminster Theological Seminary)has written or coauthored one hundred books, and edited another one hundred titles. He is president and professor of systematic theology and homiletics at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, a pastor of theHeritage Reformed Congregationin Grand Rapids, Michigan, as well as the editor ofBanner of Sovereign Grace Truth, the editorial director of Reformation Heritage Books, the president of Inheritance Publishers, and vice president of the Dutch Reformed Translation Society.
Paul Helm (MA, Worcester College) is a teaching fellow at Regent College in Vancouver. He previously taught philosophy at the University of Liverpool and was was the J. I. Packer Chair of Theology at Regent College. He also publishes online at Helm's Deep. Paul is married to Angela, and they have five children.
Robert A. Peterson (PhD, Drew University) is a writer and theologian. He taught for many years at various theologicalseminaries and has written oredited over thirty books.
Cornelis P. Venema (PhD, Princeton Theological Seminary) serves as the president of Mid-America Reformed Seminary, where he also teaches doctrinal studies. He is also an associate pastor of the Redeemer United Reformed Church of Dyer, Indiana, and the co-editor of the Mid-America Journal of Theology. He and his wife, Nancy, have four children and twelve grandchildren.
Table of Contents
Preface Derek W. H. Thomas John W. Tweeddale 9
Part 1 The Life and Work of John Calvin
1 The Young Calvin Michael A. G. Haykin 21
2 The Call to Geneva and the Struggle for Orthodoxy Stephen J. Nichols 39
3 Calvin the Pastor David B. Calhoun 59
4 Calvin and the Consistory Douglas F. Kelly 95
5 Calvin and Friends W. Robert Godfrey 131
6 The Expository Pulpit of John Calvin Steven J. Lawson 159
7 The Development of the Institutes from 1536 to 1559 Derek W. H. Thomas 199
Part 2 The Teaching of John Calvin
8 The Divinity and Authority of Scripture K. Scott Oliphint 225
9 Creation and Humanity J. V. Fesko 251
10 The Providence of God Burk Parsons 275
11 The Law of God Guy Prentiss Waters 307
12 The Person and Work of Christ Paul Wells 335
13 The Holy Spirit Joel R. Beeke 369
14 The Christian Life Edward Donnelly 397
15 Knowing God through Adversity Derek W. H. Thomas 425
16 Predestination Paul Helm 449
17 The Church as Mother John W. Tweeddale 471
18 The Sacraments Keith A. Mathison 489
19 God's Preservation of His Saints Robert A. Peterson 517
20 The Last Things Cornelis P. Venema 545
Afterword R. C. Sproul 575
Appendix: Reading Calvin and His Interpreters John W. Tweeddale 579
General Index 589
Scripture Index 604
What People are Saying About This
“Thomas and Tweeddale have brought together an impressive team of sympathetic scholars to provide us with this wonderful in-depth exposition of many important aspects of Calvin’s life and teaching. The contributors to John Calvin not only highlight but also understand the profound contemporary relevance of his theological and pastoral emphases. Here is a genuine Calvinian treat! May it encourage twenty-first-century pastors and teachersindeed, all serious Christiansto think, worship, serve, and live in the kind of dependence on God and confidence in his word that Calvin so courageously exhibited in his day.”
Sinclair B. Ferguson, Chancellor’s Professor of Systematic Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary; Teaching Fellow, Ligonier Ministries
“If I have only one chance to influence the minds of my students with a voice from the past, I turn to John Calvin. No one marries biblical knowledge to systematic theology with an eye to Christian piety like Calvin. Unfortunately, many Christians today have never read Calvin, and their theological house is the less stable for it. Do not fear: John Calvin: For a New Reformation equips Christians to withstand the storms of theological compromise. By introducing Calvin’s theology, this book provides the church with a biblical and theological foundation that will not be shaken. Read this book, and then run to read Calvin himself. In doing so, you will discover an exegetical ally, a theological father, and a Christian friend whose life, teachings, and ministry will guide you into Christian godliness.”
Matthew Barrett, Associate Professor of Christian Theology, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; Executive Editor, Credo Magazine; editor, Reformation Theology
“Those who think everything about John Calvin has already been said and written will be pleasantly surprised by this great book. Complete, accessible, scholarly, and highly relevant, this fine collection makes Geneva’s Reformer a companion and guide for today’s church and theology.”
Herman Selderhuis, President, Theological University Apeldoorn, the Netherlands; Director, Refo500; President, Reformation Research Consortium
“Not all books on John Calvin are equally helpful, interesting, or valuable. This one ranks high in all three areas. The team of scholars and pastors that Thomas and Tweeddale have assembled is impressive; the accounting of Calvin’s life, ministry, and thought is both thorough and accessible; and the overall value of the essay collection is significant. For busy pastors and church leaders who wonder what John Calvin thought or how he served, this is the place to turn. For all those of us who long for a new reformation in the global church, this is the book we can return to again and again.”
Sean Michael Lucas, Senior Pastor, Independent Presbyterian Church, Memphis, Tennessee; Chancellor’s Professor of Church History, Reformed Theological Seminary
“Tweeddale, Thomas, and their team have produced a wonderful volume that will surely be a useful companion to Calvin scholars and students alike. Well-written pages rest on piles of densely packed notes, and for newcomers to Calvin, the bibliographic essay at the book’s close is worth half the price of the book. Best of all, Calvin himself emerges as the careful scholar, complicated friend, severe pastor, and brilliant theologian that he really was.”
Chad Van Dixhoorn, Professor of Church History, Westminster Theological Seminary; author, Confessing the Faith and God’s Ambassadors
“A comprehensive and engaging survey of Calvin’s life, theology, and pastoral practice that deserves to be readand savoredagain and again.”
Scott M. Manetsch, Professor of Church History and the History of Christian Thought, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; author, Calvin’s Company of Pastors
“After five hundred years, the life, writings, and legacy of John Calvin continue to pose considerable challenges. How are we today to understand such an extraordinarily creative yet, in many ways, enigmatic figure whose influence on Christianity has been, and is still, enormous? From his own day to ours, this Frenchman has remained a profoundly controversial figure. These essays, rich in learning and thoughtful in approach, offer a sympathetic and accessible approach to Calvin as a theologian, churchman, and pastor, without avoiding the difficult questions. Readers will encounter the Reformer of Geneva in the full force of his character. The editors have brought together an important and fine collection of essays that interpret Calvin for our time.”
Bruce Gordon, Titus Street Professor of Ecclesiastical History, Yale Divinity School
“John Calvin: For a New Reformation bears witness to the vastly significant contributions made by the famous French Reformer, pastor, and theologian. Not only have the editors assigned topics that represent the many foci of Calvin’s thoughtand they are great in both number and qualitybut they have also chosen widely respected authorities to write on them. In addition, they have allotted to them a generous page limit to explore the topics in depth. This volume will whet the appetite of those who are in the initial stages of exploring Calvin and will also satisfy those who have long studied the legacy of Reformed thought.”
W. Andrew Hoffecker, Professor of Church History Emeritus, Reformed Theological Seminary